Leave your car behind and experience a wide variety of scenery as you reconnect with nature, the community’s history, and each other. Enjoy the MetroParks Bikeway for the health of it! This 11-mile paved trail offers a variety of scenery for hikers, skaters, and bicyclists. The MetroParks Bikeway runs from Western Reserve Road in Canfield Township to the Mahoning County/Trumbull County Line in Austintown Township. Parking Parking is available at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield Township and at the Kirk Road Trailhead and Mahoning Avenue Trailhead in Austintown Township. Elevation Information The grade along the Bikeway is typically very gentle. The lowest point of the Bikeway is at County Line Rd. The Bikeway’s grade increases to the highest point at Lisbon St. in Canfield for an elevation difference of 180 feet.
The MetroParks Bikeway is part of the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway.
Along the Way
Kirk Road Trailhead
This award-winning trailhead provides a fifty-car parking lot, restrooms, water fountains, a picnic pavilion, and a location for educational and trailside activities. Funds to develop the depot-themed facility were provided by Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Federal Highway Administration, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Mahoning Avenue Overpass
Constructed in 2005 and funded in full through the Federal Highway Administration, the overpass provides bikeway users safe crossing over Mahoning Ave. This unique structure was designed to resemble a historic railway trestle and mimics architectural features found along the former Niles and Lisbon Branch of the Erie Railroad Company.
Sawmill Creek Preserve
Acquired through a grant from Ohio EPA, the 154-acre forested preserve serves a critical function in the natural environment. The trees and shrubs filter and trap sediments from entering Sawmill Creek, a tributary to Meander Reservoir–the major source of drinking water for 220,000 residents. This forested stream ecosystem also provides a habitat for diverse species of wild and aquatic life.
This 402-acre working farm is operated by the MetroParks. Classrooms, agricultural exhibits and displays, and an animal barn are part of the facility. McMahon Hall, a multipurpose hall, is available for year-round rental. Tours of the MetroParks Farm are by appointment only.
The MetroParks Bikeway Trailhead at MetroParks Farm provides parking, water, restrooms, and access to the phenology garden and the Mindy Henning Memorial Trail–a primitive hiking trail through cultivated and wild habitats.
From Rails to Trails
Originally constructed in the 1860s as the Niles and Lisbon Branch of the Erie Railroad Company, the rail line served as an important link between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. In its heyday, the track bustled with passenger trains and freight trains hauling coal, steel, iron ore, produce, and dry goods. Each community along the line boasted its own passenger depot, freight house, and telegraph office.
Patrons of the Canfield Fair depended on the line as a way to the fair. Improvements to the highway system resulted in the demise of rail lines all across the country. By the late 1930s the passenger service was discontinued on the Niles and Lisbon Branch. Subsequent bankruptcies resulted in its eventual closing. The tracks and ties were removed in 1989.
The conversion of the rail line to a biking and hiking trail was recommended in the 1990 General Plan for Mill Creek MetroParks. The establishment of the trail could once again connect the communities as the rail line had done over one hundred years ago. The MetroParks, working with Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, was able to secure Federal Highway Administration and Ohio Department of Transportation funding to acquire and construct the trail.
The MetroParks Bikeway opened in 2000. This 11-mile paved trail offers a variety of scenery and experiences for hikers, skaters, and bicyclists. The trail has been warmly embraced by the community and used by the young and the young at heart.
The MetroParks Bikeway is one section of the proposed 100-mile Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway, a developing corridor that will allow trail users to travel from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.
The Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway
A Connection to Nature, History, and Each Other
This 100-mile trail, built on former railroad lines and adjacent corridors, will connect Lake Erie at Ashtabula Harbor with the Ohio River near East Liverpool. Traversing through the counties of Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana, the greenway will provide recreation, health, pride and prosperity to this unique region and its communities.
Help Make This Vision a Reality
Although many miles of the greenway trail have been completed, your help is needed to make this vision a reality. Join your county’s effort in developing the remaining portions or maintaining the existing sections of the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway.
Make a tax-deductible donation.
Assist with fund raising.
Help with clean-up, building, or maintenance.
Tell someone about the project and get them involved, too.
To offer your assistance at any level, please call or write a Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway contact in your area: